Chakri Dynasty commemorated on April 6
Banks and businesses to close in observance of holiday
Chakri Day (April 6) was
first instituted by H.M. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in the year 1919 to
commemorate all the Kings in the Chakri Dynasty, which started with Rama I
and continues to this day with Rama IX, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej the
The reigning Kings in the House of Chakri brought peace and tranquility to
the people within Thailand’s borders and successfully protected the Kingdom,
maintaining sovereignty and integrity through crucial periods threatened by
European colonization and two World Wars.
In commemorating Chakri Day, the national flag is proudly displayed by the
people of Thailand and both government officials and members of the
community participate in traditional ceremonies, making offerings of flowers
and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House of Chakri.
The Chakri Dynasty, or the House of Chakri, followed the reign of King
Taksin the Great, when He abdicated due to poor health. The Chakri Dynasty
was ushered in on 6 April 1782 when a close aid of King Taksin, General
Chakri, marched back into Dhonburi and assumed the throne as H.M. King
Buddhayodfa the Great. Each Monarch thereafter has had Rama as part of their
Banks, government offices and most business offices will close on Thursday,
April 6 in observance of this special day.
Chakri Dynasty - Chronology
of the present-day Dynasty of Thailand
Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke Maharaj
King Rama I
King Rama I was born in Ayutthaya on March 20, 1737. The
first King of the Chakri Dynasty he moved the capital city from Dhonburi to
Bangkok and built the Grand Palace that houses the Emerald Buddha. Helped
free Thailand from Burmese control after Ayuthaya succumbed 14 years
earlier. He died in Bangkok on September 7, 1809.
King Rama II
King Rama II was born in Ratchaburi on February 26, 1768.
He is best remembered for his interest in the arts. The first great poet
king of the Chakri Dynasty was renowned for his literature. He was an
artist, writer and composer. He died on July 21. 1824.
Phra Nangklao Chaoyuhua
King Rama III
King Rama III was born in Bangkok on March 31, 1788. He
made territorial advances and brought the vassal states of the north and
northeast under Bangkok rule. He extensively encouraged international
trading and education, enhanced promotion of Buddhism and built many
temples. He signed the first treaty with the United States in 1833. He died
on April 2, 1851.
Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua
King Rama IV
King Rama IV (Mongkut) was born on October 18, 1804. He
modernized Thailand in both commerce and education. He is known as the
“Father of Thai Scientists” and famous for his astrology. When His Royal
Highness Prince Mongkut became King, he was known in Siam as “Phra Chom
Klao”, but foreigners called him Mongkut. He died on October 1, 1868.
Phra Chula Chomklao Chaoyuhua
King Rama V
King Rama V (Chulalongkorn the Great) was born in Bangkok
on September 20, 1853. One of the most beloved and revered kings, He
abolished slavery, extensively contacted the Western world, modernized the
government, education, transportation, and communication. His diplomacy
skills saved Thailand from being colonized during the colonial expansionism
period. He died on October 23, 1910.
Phra Mongkut Klao Chaoyuhua
King Rama VI
King Rama VI (Vajiravudh) was born at Bangkok on January
1, 1881. He was a great poet and a learned scholar in both Thai and English.
He translated the entire works of Shakespeare into Thai. He continued the
work of Rama V in modernizing Thailand. He promoted education and
established the Boy Scouts in Thailand.
In 1916 during the First World War King Vajiravudh declared war on Germany
and sent Thai troops to fight alongside the Allies. He died on November 26,
Phra Pok-Klaw Chaoyuhua
King Rama VII
King Rama VII (Prajadhipok) was born in Bangkok on
November 8, 1893. He granted the Constitution to Thailand in 1932. Thailand
changed from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy. During his reign
the country celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Chakri Dynasty on April
6, 1932. He died in on May 30, 1941.
Phra Chaoyuhua Ananda Mahidol
King Rama VIII
King Rama VIII was born on September 20, 1925. A direct
grandson of King Rama V. King Ananda Mahidol received his education in
Switzerland returning to Thailand occasionally. Having returned to stay
after the end of World War II, his life and his reign came to an abrupt end
when he died, on June 9, 1946.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the
King Rama IX (1946 to the present)
King Rama IX (Bhumibol Adulyadej) was born on December 5,
1927. A true Monarch of the people and guiding light for the whole Thai
nation. Saved Thailand from many crises, dedicated to raising the living
standards of the poor, especially in remote regions. H.M. King Bhumibol
Adulyadej made many state visits abroad as well as receiving many Heads of
State in Bangkok. To mark his 60th Birthday in 1987, H.M. King Bhumibol
Adulyadej was proclaimed “The Great”. This year H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej
celebrates the 60th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.
Doi Angkhang Chiang Mai
A trip to experience tribal life styles
Painting on Buildings to show
devotion towards His Majesty the King, the initiator of The Royal Project
Any visitor to Chiang Mai, having shopped till they dropped and become
satiated with a surfeit of temples and market places, perhaps feels the need
for a change of scenery and some fresh air. A trip that fulfils all these
criteria is to take a leisurely 100 km drive north to the sleepy town of
Fang, situated in a stunningly beautiful mountainous area near the
Thai-Burmese border. In this area close by Fang, known locally as the “Rose
of the North” you will find the Doi Angkhang Nature Resort, located in the
mountains just to the west of the town.
birder sign at Baan Nor Lae military base.
Already feeling invigorated by the clean mountain air, the discerning
traveler will find this location a little slice of heaven and ideally
suitable for relaxing and recharging one’s batteries. Here can be found a
thriving Royal project sponsored by His Majesty the King of Thailand, with
the local villagers growing many different vegetables and cold weather
fruits, with many guest houses for visitors.
The Angkhang Nature Resort not only contains the Royal project, but has a
branch of the Amari Hotel chain, the GM of which is Makoo Techasopon. For
those tourists who like to get out and about and see how the other half
lives, there are guided tours passing through two Thai tribal villages. On
these treks you get an idea of what village life is like in Doi Ankhang, by
experiencing the hill tribe life style.
baby girl comes to school as her parents are busy in the fields.
The guided tour starts from the hotel and calls at a temple containing a
Buddha relic. The first part of the route wends its way up the mountain and
can be traveled by car because the road is in quite good condition. The next
point of interest is a visit to a Lahu Na tribal village where Khob Dong
School is located. The school has an infant development center and also
provides education from primary level to grade 9. Occupying a place of honor
in the entrance to the school, is a painting of His Majesty the King
visiting the village people. The hill tribes here are very loyal to his
Majesty, holding him in very high regard for providing them with a
livelihood by starting the Royal project.
At this school, there are not only regular teachers, but the children are
also taught by officers and soldiers of the Royal Forest Department. Also,
Makoo from the Angkhang Nature Resort is a special teacher in many fields.
There is a Junior Guide course which is part of the 3rd grade curriculum,
which is beneficial to the community for giving information to tourists. In
certain classes, older students take care of the younger students. The
record of achievements of this school is so impressive that it was selected
to be an example of projects in the Northern area by the Tourism Authority
merchants offer their product, grass bracelets.
Lahu Na people (Black Musers) have settled around the area of Doi Angkhang
for almost 100 years, but Khob Dong village has been occupied for only 50
years. There are 35 families living in the community; with a population of
around 300-400 residents. In the past, the villagers earned a living from
growing poppies and making illegal drugs, until His Majesty established the
royal project. In 1969, the village leader whose name was Jamhor, was the
person responsible for abandoning opium growing, and changing over to
planting strawberries and flowers for the Royal project instead. Jamhor
proudly recalls that His Majesty the King once stopped by and enjoyed a cup
of tea with him at his house.
After visiting Baan Khob Dong, the trek continues by walking up the
mountain, along a route through the forest to arrive at Baan Nor Lae, a
distance of about 2 km. Once out of the forest, the trail passes through
Palaung’s vegetable patches containing cabbages and cauliflowers and many
fine examples of organically grown produce. The air here is so remarkably
fresh that you will want to breathe in and keep it in your lungs.
shoes are the norm.
In the village of Baan Nor Lae, there is a building that looks like a temple
in a Chinese movie, which is still undergoing construction. The people
living here are Buddhist, so they build and decorate their temple in the
Bhuddsist style. Nearby the temple is the Baan Nor Lae Handicraft Center,
where the Palaung housewives can be seen weaving beautiful cotton cloth in a
style unique to the Palaungs, which is available for sale to tourists as
souvenirs of their visit. The Palaung’s village is built with local
knowledge and their houses are made from bamboo; the walls containing no
windows because of the cold weather that is a feature of the mountainous
locality. There are many types of roofs; clad with a mixture of tiles,
galvanized iron, and cogon. One feature is remarkable; although the bamboo
houses are obviously very old, there is no sign of decay or termite damage.
Because the villagers cook inside their houses, the smoke from the cooking
fires irritates the termites and prevents infestation.
Dong’s vantage point from where we can see Lahu Na’s (Black Muser) houses.
A short distance further, the trek reaches the Thai-Burmese border where
Thai soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force are billeted at the Baan Nor Lae
military base located there. This base stands opposite a Burmese military
fortress known as the Pa Kee base camp, and there is a company of Burmese
soldiers permanently billeted there. One of Thai senior officers said that
due to their presence in the area, and that of their Burmese counterparts,
the incidence of illegal drug trafficking is decreasing. He added that if
the military patrols found opium being secretly planted near the border
area, the soldiers immediately destroyed it. In the past few months,
military forces have eliminated 4-5 rai of opium plantation at Baan Luang
near Doi Angkhang. Periodically they conduct a snap village blockade to
search for raw opium; anyone found in possession of this narcotic and
consumes it, will be arrested and prosecuted.
As well as this particular
route, there are many other scenic routes suitable for bicycles, where
visitors to Doi Angkhang can experience beautiful nature, colorful rarely
seen birds, and exotic plants. If you want to commune with nature and escape
the hot weather and pollution of the city, Doi Angkhang is certainly an
ideal place to go.
Thanks go from the Chiangmai Mail reporters to the Angkhang Nature Resort
and the military officers of the Pha Muang Task Force for showing us around
this beautiful location.
Khob Dong school female
students in Girl Scouts’ uniform.
Palaung women work together.
Palaungs and their unique
weaving at the handicraft center.
A long climb to Baan Nor Lae.
20 Canadian dentists make for better Thai smiles
Half way around the world in the name of humanity
Rotary’s Mobile Dental Clinic Project successfully took place in Chiang
Rai province during March. The project was initiated one year ago by the
Mission Rotary Clubs (from Mission, British Columbia in Canada) and the
Rotary Club of Maechan.
Stanley Soon treating an Akha woman in Huay Chompu.
It aimed at giving free dental care to those who needed it in the Chiang Rai
province. Divided into two teams of 10, the volunteers brought 500 kg of
material from Canada. This included three dental stations, dental chairs,
instruments, and medications. It was a clear act of humanitarian service,
providing volunteer service to others and showing once again that every
individual has the power to create a difference.
And it will be a different feeling for those people in rural areas who were
provided with a dental check up, fillings and everything which belongs to a
dental examination. The first team took care of more than 150 patients at
Wat Mun Phut, A. Maechan. They were soon joined by the President Elect of
Chiang Saen Rotary Club, who is himself a dentist. The team performed
countless fillings, extractions, scaling, as well as making partial dentures
and giving hygiene advice.
The Rotary teams, from
Mission, British Columbia, Canada, together with the local Rotarians.
The second team, under the leadership of Dr. Stanley Soon and Dr. Dave
Danksin, went to the remote village of Huay Chompu, about 120 km from Chiang
Rai. Arriving at the remote village, after driving kilometers of dirt roads,
the team was busy treating patients in a very relaxed but efficient
atmosphere. Outside, the villagers were patiently waiting for their turn.
The team was formed of two professional dentists from Canada, one Thai
dentist, seven assistants and one much needed translator.
Thanin, past president of Rotary Club Maechan, Dr Stanley Soon and a young
patient of Huay Chompu
Lloyd Rash, one of the assistants told us that the attitude of the villagers
quickly turned from shy and curious to happiness and confidence. Khun
Praphan, the head of the village, explained how happy he was to receive this
help in such a remote area of the province. Being in charge of four
villages, he said that some patients walked more than two hours to come to
visit the Mobile Dental Clinic, but some could not make it. He hopes this
project could be done again soon.
This is probably what most of the Rotarian volunteers wish too. Lloyd Rash
told us that they expected to treat around 120 villagers but a lot could
still be done, and many more patients could be taken care of. Smiles on the
faces of both children and adults were certainly the biggest reward for the
team. While Dr Stanley, Dr Dave and Dr Revadee were busy with their
patients, Doug, another assistant, said: “I’m gonna be back and do this
again. Oh yes!”